Thursday, April 28, 2011

I haven't forgotten!

     I know it may seem to some people like I have forgotten about the blog, and the food and fitness diary. I promise, this is not the case. Unless you have personally experienced the problems that come along with quitting Paxil, this will be hard for you to understand.  
     It takes every ounce of energy that I have just to get out of bed in the mornings. The anxiety and depression that comes along with Paxil withdrawal is truly debilitating. When someone tells me that its all in my head, it pisses me off so bad. While some symptoms are possibly in my head, the physical symptoms are NOT. Things are getting a little better each day, and typically withdrawals last about 2 weeks. I simply have not had the emotional will to a lot of the things that come along with the blog. The nurse also told me that dieting would NOT be a good idea during the Paxil taper schedule, so I havent been logging my foods. Thats not to say that I have gone nuts and I'm eating horrible foods. I just have been eating normally.
     Once things get back to a sense of normalcy, I will continue the weight loss journey, and I will NOT miss any days in my diary. In order to show my commitment to logging food and exercise on a daily basis, going forward, for every day that is not update properly, I will do 25 push ups and 25 jumping jacks. In order for my followers to know that I did them, we will document them with the camcorder and post them on here. I hope to get things back to normal within the next week.
     In the meantime, don't dismiss the withdrawal I am experiencing. There is plenty of documented stories of the withdrawals. They are very real, I assure you. In the meantime, enjoy the video blogs. At the request of a reader I will start posting them on this site AS WELL as my youtube channel.
  
    

Big Fat Loser Easter

Big Fat Loser: Slip and Slide Fail

Amanda's Sister cannot get the hang of how to slip and slide. Too Funny!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter from the BFL Gang!!!




I just hate my little man couldn't be here for the Easter Pics. We will get another with him next time he's over. Love you Xander!!! <3


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Paxil Withdrawal

Im on day 2 of my Paxil tapering schedule, and I'm feeling it today. I've had hot flashes/chills, profuse sweating, trembling, the feeling of weakness in my legs and arms, shortness of breath, hear palps. Not to mention the horrible anxiety I have had today.
I looked up some other withdrawals symptoms as well. There is a literal laundry list.

Frequently Reported Symptoms:

  • intense insomnia
  • extraordinarily vivid dreams
  • extreme confusion during waking hours
  • intense fear of losing your sanity
  • steady feeling of existing outside of reality as you know it (referred to as depersonalization at times)
  • memory and concentration  problems
  • Panic Attacks (even if you never had one before)
  • severe mood swings, esp. heightened irritability / anger
  • suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases)
  • an unconventional dizziness/   vertigo
  • the feeling of shocks, similar to mild electric one, running the length of your body
  • an unsteady gait
  • slurred speech
  • headaches
  • profuse sweating, esp. at night
  • muscle cramps
  • blurred vision
  • breaking out in tears.
  • hypersensitivity to motion, sounds, smells.
  • decreased appetite
  • nausea
  • abdominal cramping, diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • chills/ hot flashes

Less Frequently Reported Symptoms

  • fainting
  • "scratching sound" inside one's head
  • constant white noise in the ears
  • tingling sensation in cheeks, lips, tongue and surrounding areas.
  • heart palpitations/ chest pain
  • swollen and sore eyes
  • fatigue
  • extremely localized, bursting headaches
  • lump in throat
  • rash / dry, flaky and irritated skin
  • grinding of teeth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • itchiness

I just hope that my symptoms stop where they are. Thankfully, I still have a few Klonopins left to deal with the anxiety levels. I knew when I decided to quit, it would not be an easy task, but I hoping that with my taper schedule, It wouldn't hit me so hard. typically the symptoms last for about 2 weeks, so we'll just see.

Friday, April 22, 2011

One moment of clarity can lead to a lifetime of happiness....

    I had a little bit of time to myself today while I was driving to Brookland to pick Lauren up. I was listening to Ben Folds song "Learn to Live With What You Are" I've probably listened to the song a hundred times, and never given it a second though past "I like this song". Today, I listened to the lyrics, and I realize that songs lyrics have different meanings to each person. Its kind of like a horoscope...if you read it enough, and put enough thought into it, you can make it relate to you in someway.
    The song today gave me a moment of self awareness (as cliche as it sounds), and a moment of clarity. Its been said a million times that depending on your beliefs you only get one shot at life. Sometimes its hard to do the things that your heart tells you to do, due to outside influence, such as family, friends, and money. Not that family is trying to hurt your future, they just worry about you. Sometimes a simple talk from someone that thinks they are helping you, can take the wind completely out of your sails. When everything boils down to its prime, the only thing you have is yourself, and your feelings. As time passes, influences will come and go (like everything does). One day you may remember a time when you had ambitions to do something that you think will make you happy, but you may feel its too late, or you are afraid to mention it again, because last time you were told it wouldn't be beneficial for you.
    I guess what Im saying is that sometimes, you just have to do what you feel in your heart that you should do. Something I have learned since suffering from depression is that, if something makes you happy, cling to it. For some it may be the hope of a family, or lots of money, or health, or to be closer to whatever your interpretation of God is. No matter what it is, if its healthy, cling to it. Sometimes you need to tell the ones you love that all you need is support. You feel very strongly about it, and you know it feels right.
    That's the purpose of this blog post. Since losing my job, I have found myself seriously questioning my future. Sure, I'm in school....and I'm majoring in Computer Sciences. Ill graduate one day, and maybe land a job making 60-70k a year, and I'll be able to have all the things I've always wanted. The real question is, "will I be truly happy at night, when I lay on my pillow?" For me, the answer is "maybe", I may be happy with a career in computers, its a growing industry. However, I'm pushing 30 now, and for me, maybe is NOT good enough anymore. I want to do something that will make me truly happy. There is only one career that will make me happy. That career is in music. Not to be a pop star sensation or anything like that....I want to TEACH music. I want to be a choir director.
   People will most likely tell me that it doesn't pay enough, or that fine arts is a dying thing in public schools. Frankly, I don't want to hear any of it. It's been said before, and I understand that I will never be rich. However, let me ask you this. Are you truly happy with your career? Most likely not. You spend 1/3 of your life at work. Why wouldn't you want a job that makes you happy?
   With that being said, I'm switching my major to music. My first true love was music. Music means different things to different people, so some people may not understand a love for music. I am personally tired of leading my life like others want me to live. I don't care that I wont be rich. Will my family be happier with money, and material things, or with happier with a happy healthy father/husband. I think the latter would make the most sense. I don't want to be rich. I want to live moderately, and have a fulfilling and happy career.
    I love my friends and family very much, and I know they only want whats best for me. However, I want everyone to know, that a career in music is what's best for me, and at this point, the only that I ask of you is your support. I want to make music. Music truly makes me happy, and when everything else is gone, all thats left is yourself. As they say, you are born alone, and you die alone. I know that sounds bleak, but in all reality, its true, and when my time comes, I want to know that I had a happy life. I won't care about money and possessions.

Sometimes
Everything you've ever wanted
Floats above
Sticking out its tongue and laughing
While everything
Anyone can ever need
Is down below
Waiting for you
To notice
There's never gonna be a moment of truth for you
While the world is watching
All you need is the thing you've forgotten
And that's to learn to live with what you are
  

   You know its funny....Ben Folds has had such a profound impact on my life. It sounds funny, I know....but his music played on my stereo when I separated from my first wife. His music played at my wedding. Gracie was named after his song "Gracie". His music has never failed me.




 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quitting Paxil...

    I have been thinking alot lately about the paxil. I have decided after much personal debate to stop taking them. The mood swings when I'm taking them have taken a toll on me and Amanda. The reason I started taking Paxil in the first place was because of work related worries and stresses. I have reached a point where I wonder if the benefits outweigh the side effects.
    I have read that quitting Paxil cold turkey is NOT a smart move, so I contacted my doctor and got put a taper schedule. For those of my readers that are curious about quitting Paxil themselves, Ill fill you in on my taper schedule. I searched for one on my own to no avail.
Im currently on 20mg at bedtime. Im going to 10mg for 3 weeks, then 5mg for 1 week, then I'm done.
    I made this decision based on my behavior as of the last few weeks. Anyone in my family can tell you that I have been a complete dick. I haven't been myself lately, and the only thing I can think of is the Paxil. If I go off the meds, and experience profound depression again, then I will see doctor Golden and try a different AD. The paxil side effects are simply not worth it to me. I feel worse now than I EVER did before AD's.
   Not to mention Paxil causes weight gain, which is going to make my weight loss journey more difficult. I have to think about which is going to benefit me more....weight loss, or AD's.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big Fat Loser #9: Cooking with RJ (Pulled Pork BBQ)

Just some random stuff...

     I just wanted to talk about some things that didn't make into the videos over the past few days. I hope you guys are enjoying the youtube videos as much as we enjoy making them. I am currently trying to get in touch with a gentleman that does caricatures to make a new banner for the site. Not that there is anything wrong with the one that Amanda made. I just think it should include the rest of the family.
     I still haven't heard back from the US postal service on my job app. The postmaster of Lake City promised me an interview, but she says they have to wait on a hiring packet from the main office. Im kinda holding out on looking for a job until I hear from them. I really would like to find something part time so I can finish school. 
     Lauren will be coming over on Friday night to spend the night with us, so I should be able to get some good footage for youtube. You never know what that girl is likely to do! 
   Im still waiting for my back to get better, and I still haven't been able to go to the gym like I would like to. I hate that. I feel like Im letting everyone down, but when you go from never exercising to exercising, you are likely to sustain injury. I  promise you guys that Im really not making excuses. In case you missed the youtube video, the docs found out that I have scoliosis and a problem with my l-5, s-1 joint. The problem with the joint is causing the muscles around it to inflame and have spasms, which is incredibly painful.
     I recently came back into contact with an old high school friend, and its like we never even quit talking. She is also really hitting it off with Amanda which amazes me, because Amanda is alot like me in that people easily annoy her. We are really looking forward to seeing you, Micah! Hopefully we can all get together real soon.

Thats all I have for now. Keep reading, following, and watching!

P.S. Even though I said I was swearing off shaving and cutting my hair, I decided to go ahead and get my hair cut tomorrow, so I can actually do something with it!! Ill keep the beard going though!

Monday, April 18, 2011

BFL Recipe! Root Beer Pulled Pork

This is a great recipe! Ill upload the video soon on youtube!


Ingredients


    2 lb Boston Butt Pork Roast (Pork Tenderloin can be substituted) 1 can Root Beer 18 Oz Bottle of your Favorite BBQ sauce



Directions

Serving Size: Makes 8 sandwiches
Place the roast in an appropriate sized crock pot or slow cooker.
Pour in the root beer.
Cook the roast until it is tender enough to pull apart easily or otherwise falls off the bone. (approximately 7 hours)
Pull the Roast apart and place back on the cooker and pour in the BBQ sauce. Heat through and serve in the buns. DELICIOUS!

Number of Servings: 8

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 297.5
  • Total Fat: 14.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 276.0 mg
  • Total Carbs: 21.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
  • Protein: 20.0 g

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BFL Recipe. Chili Rubbed Tilapia!!!

Amanda and I made the delicious Tilapia tonight! We got some video footage, and I'll be uploading it to my youtube channel.


Ingredients


    2 tbsp chili powder 
    1/2 tsp garlic powder 
    1/2 tsp salt, divided
    1 lb tilapia, sole or other white firm fillets 
    2 tbsp olive oil
    3 tbsp lemon juice



Directions

Combine chili powder, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt on a plate. Dredge fillets in the spice mixture to coat. Heat oil in large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, 5 to 7 mins total. Makes 4 servings.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 173.0
  • Total Fat: 8.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.0 mg
  • Sodium: 371.0 mg
  • Total Carbs: 3.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 21.6 g

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BFL Recipe. Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

    3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast  18 corn tortillas, medium  3 cups enchilada sauce 5 cups colby and monterey jack cheese, shredded 1 cup onions


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the chicken in water until done. Drain & chop into small pieces.
Chop onion.
Spray a 13x9" pan with cooking spray.
Dip tortillas in the enchilada sauce one at a time, making sure they are completely covered with sauce.
Layer covered tortillas in the bottom of the pan, it should take six.
Add a layer of chicken, onion & cheese. You don't want the tortillas to be completely covered with any one of the ingredients but you should put about half of the chicken & onion & about 1/3 of the cheese.
Add a another layer of the tortillas dipped in sauce.
Press down gently all over the pan.
Add the remaining chicken, onion and cheese mixture.
Add remaining layer of tortillas dipped in sauce & press down gently again all over the pan.
Add the remaining cheese on the top.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, until cheese is bubbly, starting to brown and the casserole is hot all the way through.


Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 16
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 268.7
  • Total Fat: 10.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 69.4 mg
  • Sodium: 731.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 17.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 25.8 g



So, My sisters and I made this casserole tonight, and it was so good! And you can eat it guilt free as long as you eat it in moderation. 
  I hope you guys will try it out, and let me know if you like it. Tomorrow, we will be making chili rubbed tilapia! Its very delicious! 

I got into trouble....

    I got a comment from an anonymous follower, that accused me of gearing this blog too much towards humor, and not enough towards weight loss. It really made me think, and he/she is right. I have been so busy trying to obtain more traffic to my blog that I have lost site of the real reason I started the blog in the first place. I have been horrible about updating my food/exercise diary. How can I hope to keep and gain followers if I don't follow through with what I promised them? 
   These are the type of followers I hope for. I want ALL of my readers to be candid with me, and let me know if you think I'm screwing up. Gus has been doing very well at keeping me in line! It helps more than you think. Even though I may not respond to all the comments, I read every single comment thats posted on my blog, facebook, and youtube. So please keep it up.

  And thank you to my anonymous reader for reminding me why I started this blog in the first place. I need to find a happy medium between humor and weight loss. I know there's one, I just gotta find the right balance.

   Im trying to think of a way to include my readers. So, lets think of a type of punishment for me if I fail to update my food diary. Any ideas? Maybe I'll have to do something embarrassing on my youtube channel or take an embarrassing picture. Give me some ideas! We could make it fun. 

Should I get a tattoo????

So, the lady that rear-ended us the other day just happens to work at a local tattoo parlor, and I have managed to talk her into giving me a tattoo. Amanda designed this tattoo....what do you guys think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Social Networking...not as easy as you think.

   Ever since BFL started, I have been trying to get my name out on the social network realm. My blog got off to a great start, and has already had over 2000 hits. After that it seems like it just kind of hit a plateau. I have followed the proverbial book to the letter on starting a blog. I have Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Youtube...
   Then I realized...The ONLY thing that can make you successful is a loyal fanbase. If you project into the correct social network media, the word can spread fast. Just look at Shaycarl. Watching him is what made me decide to start blogging. My life isn't even close to as busy as his is, but I try my best to deliver quality content.
   Sometimes I feel like I'm bitching too much. Like I think I have it harder than anyone else in my position. If this is how I come across to you, it isn't my intention. I understand that everyone has their own unique problems, and their own unique way of dealing with them. Mine just happens to be blogging.
   I just want to take this opportunity to say thanks to my followers, and ask that you please help BFL reach the starts by telling your friends about me! This is going to be an amazing journey, and I would like to share that with my fans.
   You can help by retweeting my tweets, and suggesting my FB page to your friends!

Thanks again for your continued support!

-RJ

Saturday, April 9, 2011

UH.....

   Amanda was kind enough to bring it to my attention that I say "Uh" too much in my video blogs. I never noticed it until she said something. Now, Im self conscious about it. I find myself re-doing dialogue alot now. So thanks for that, Amanda.
   Today has been a fruitful day. We got an early start with Xanders soccer game. It was a beautiful day today, but very very windy. Im not sure that I can use a whole lot of the video shot at the soccer field. Mine and Xander's birthday is coming up on the 27th, and I have no clue what I want to get him. I thought about a swimming pool, but the maintenance would be a pain.
   Hopefully I have enough footage today to post a video tonight! Stay tuned.

Big Fat Loser #4: Mom is moving [Video]

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just in case you are living under a rock!

If you haven't subscribed to my youtube channel yet, here are the most recent vids. Stop being stuck up and subscribe! Here is the link to my channel to make it easy for you! http://www.youtube.com/user/BFLBlog?feature=mhum

Depression relapse is a bitch...

   Not exactly sure what brought it on, but I have kind of under the weather today. Not in a physical sense, but in an emotional sense. I have just felt like shit all day. It may have been the junk food last night at Godsey's. Im not sure why some days I'm ok, and others I feel depressed. I'm afraid to say that I may need to increase my dosage of Paxil. This scares me, because I feel like I have finally reached a point where the side effects of the AD's have subsided. Im afraid if I increase my dose, the side effects will come back in full force.
    The side effects of Paxil and Celexa for me included, a feeling of drunkness, or disconnectedness, "brain zaps", various sexual side effects (including anaorgasma), insomnia, chills, anxiety, and various other side effects. They are so bad in the first few weeks, that it makes you wonder if the drugs are worse than the depression. I really wish I could go back to not taking any medicine. The idea of having to rely on AD's to function properly long term is depressing (ironic, right).
    I try my best to count my blessings in hopes that I can turn my demeanor around when I feel like this, but nothing seems to help. I know I'm blessed with a beautiful wife and daughter, and I feel like I have the inability to enjoy them as I should because of the depression. It's hard to explain if you have never had depression, and it probably just comes across as whiny to my readers. As my EX-Dr. once said. "Just shake it off". How I wish it were that easy. However, its not. Its these times (in the past) that I would turn to alcohol in order to be "happy". Of course I felt whimsical while I was drunk, but felt overwhelming guilt the next day, because I know in my current state of fitness, that was one more night that all I did was harm my body for a few hours of numbness. Of course as part of this blog one thing that I am desperately trying to eliminate from my life is drinking. Now I feel the need to say, that I am not even close to to an alcoholic, but I do know that it's a slippery slope once you turn to alcohol to cope with emotional distress. This is why I went to the Dr. in the first place last year.
   So I have to decide if I should shake this off as a bad day, or take it seriously and talk to the Doc about increasing my dosage. I'm looking to do things that will replace these bad vibes in my life with something a little more constructive, such as this blog, and the video blogging. The problem is that it is taking every little bit of will power I have to sit down and type this out. I feel like it may have some therapeutic value to do this though.
   I usually try to keep this blog upbeat so as not to bring down my audience, but I felt the need to be candid today in my current mental state. NO, I'm not having thoughts of harming myself or others. I just feel like crawling under a rock today, and not coming out until life is easy again. I know those are juvenile thoughts, because life is not going to be easy in this day and time. I just have to learn to cope with it without meds. Because sometimes, Its just not worth the ups and downs that come along with taking AD's.
   I'm sorry if I brought everyone down, it wasn't my intention. My sole intention was to get my thoughts out on virtual paper.

Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow, and I can go back to making people laugh, and stop feeling sorry myself.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lazy Sunday...

   Today was a pretty chill day. Amanda finished up painting the bathroom, and you can see it on my youtube channel. I watched Gracie while she did that. My mower isnt running right, so I paid some dude $30 to mow my entire yard, which I thought was a pretty damn good deal. We ate at Ruby Tuesday to celebrate Amanda finishing the bathroom.
   Tomorrow, Im picking up my new Sony Bloggie, which is an HD cam made specifically for vlogging, so I will have higher quality videos. I still plan on doing the regular blog, but I will eventually move to primarily video blogging. I think Amanda is going to have to get use to me recording everything, but she should adapt pretty well. YouTube is hard to get a good fan base, but once you do it, they tend to be loyal. Please help me by spreading the word about my youtube channel. My username is BFLBlog.

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fools Day....an excuse for me to be mean!

    In the spirit of April Fool's day, we decided to convince my mother that we were pregnant. It was pretty Epic! I initially just called Mom and of course, there was no convincing her. I told mom we would go get a pregnancy test and take a pic of it with something in the house. So Amanda had a old pregnancy test that was pretty close to expiring, so she peed on it, and of course...it was negative. It is a digital test. So it said "Not Pregnant".  We snapped a photo, and Amanda photo shopped the "not" out of it. This was the ending result.

   Of course at this point Mom believed me and was so exited, that I immediately felt terrible. I let it go for about an hour and I called her, and she was like "I knew you were kidding" blah blah blah....I HAD HER GOOD!
   So, on another note, I managed to fall flat on my ass today while brushing my teeth. I bet you are wondering how I managed to do that. Well, I was brushing my teeth, and walked into the bedroom to grab a pair of socks when I started feeling ornery. Amanda was getting ready to put on her shirt, and I shoved her down on the bed and took off like a scalded dog for fear of retaliation...when I hit the hardwood, it was slicker than snot. I ended up on my ass brushing my teeth. I was playing it cool though, I just kept brushing pretending like everything was cool. I often brush my teeth while laying down...
   What I thought was hives yesterday has begun to spread. Its now all the way around my neck and down my chest. Its red, and has little white pimples on it. Its pretty disgusting. I'm wondering if its maybe a heat rash from the recent exercise. Since my body isn't use to the excess sweating. Im not sure....but Golden is on sick call tomorrow from 1-4, so I guess I'll go throw some more money at him assuming the rash isnt better tomorrow. Well, as I was typing this, Jonathan came online so I chatted with him. Normally I would have called dad, but I'm sure if I called him at 1AM about a rash it would bring back memories of one of his old jobs. Ill tell you about that in a minute. Anyhow, Jonathan said just use cortisone cream, because it didnt sound like anything contagious or dangerous. So I went to Walgreens at 1AM and the cortisone was INSTANT itching relief. If its not better by Monday, I will go into the doctor.
  OK, now back to the story of Dad. He use to be a caseworker for a home with people with mental disorders. I remember one morning at about 3AM, his phone rings....It wakes me up and I go in his room to see who was calling at that time of day, fearing something bad had happened. I hear Dad say, "Why are you calling me at 3AM to tell me your toilet paper is chafing your ass! I LAUGHED SO HARD! He then proceeded to tell the guy he would not look at his ass, but he would get him new toilet paper. I'm sure Dad didn't think it was funny, but I did, and still laugh when I think about it. It also brings back other fond memories. I miss the days with me and Dad. Before I had the worries of bills, work, and children. The only worry I had was whether or not we were going to toss the baseball around that day or not. I'm sure Dad had plenty of worries, but he never let it show. I'll save all the details of that for another day. Maybe Ill do a write up for Father's day.
   So anyhow, thats all I have for today. Oh yea, one more thing. I borrowed a camcorder until I can afford my own, so I plan to upload my first video blog tomorrow!